Martin Phillips, Local Heritage Education Manager, Telford & Wrekin writes here about the Historic England Heritage Schools Programme
2015 has been a highly productive year for the Historic England Heritage Schools Programme in Telford & Wrekin. The 11 schools who have participated this year have developed a range of fabulous heritage projects, most of which came to fruition in the summer term.
Short Wood Primary School followed up their heritage walk in Wellington with a study of the Victorian novelist Hesba Stretton. Pupils from the school successfully campaigned for the council to upgrade her memorial in the town.
Meadows Primary School staff and pupils collaborated with Historic England in the production of the film Doorstep Heritage, which provides inspiration for exploring the heritage on your doorstep and a practical case study based on their heritage work this year. In June, the school, in conjunction with the Ketley History group, put on an exhibition celebrating Ketley History at the Ketley Community Centre. The exhibition, focusing on the history of the Ketley School, the importance of William Reynolds and his pioneering use of the inclined plane, was very well attended by parents, heritage partners and the Mayor.
Another successful exhibition was at the Footprint Gallery in Jackfield. Supported by Historic England and IGMT, John Fletcher of Madeley Primary installed a fantastic exhibition of work celebrating the life and achievements of the pioneering electrical engineer from Coalbrookdale, Thomas Parker. The opening night was very well attended and the guest of honour was Thomas Parker’s great granddaughter.
In July, Holmer Lake School opened the doors of their ‘museum’ so parents could view a highly impressive whole school project based on the heritage of the Stirchley and Brookside area. The pupils focused on the area’s farming and mining heritage, medicine, education and transport and the role of First World War soldiers from the area.
Priorslee Primary, St Luke’s Primary, Southall, Tibberton, Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge and Lilleshall have all completed fascinating local studies prompting them to produce art work, literature and short films to celebrate their learning, whilst Wrockwardine Wood Arts Academy produced a commemorative book and DVD to celebrate 83 years of their school.